Mariam, Aisha and Amna in Gujranwala at a restaurant with their mother Maimouna who has been granted custody of the children for three months Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Dubai-based Lithuanian expat Maimouna Liskauskaite has been granted temporary custody of her three minor daughters after an order by Pakistan’s highest court.

The 37-year-old schoolteacher had not seen her children since April 2011 when they were kidnapped by her husband Dr Jamshed Siddique and flown to Pakistan from Dubai.

Following XPRESS reports highlighting her plight and intervention of human rights lawyers and activists, Maimouna was reunited with her daughters Mariam 13, Aisha, 11 and Amna, 9, earlier this month.

Court ruling

However, it was only last week (April 18) when a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar handed her the custody of the children for three months.

“It is an established fact that the father kidnapped his daughters from Dubai,” the bench said.

Observing that the minors would not be allowed to leave Pakistan, the court warned the father to not corrupt the minds of the girls against their mother. The bench also ordered an FIR against Siddique but retracted the order after his counsel pleaded for mercy.

A guardian judge will monitor the children during their stay with their mother.

“My prayers have been finally answered. I am rediscovering the joy of motherhood all over again,” an emotional Maimouna told XPRESS from Gujranwala, a city located in the Central Punjab Province of Pakistan. “For seven long years, my daughters have been living away from me. completely dovoid of motherly love so it’s going to take a while before they feel for me the way I feel for them. At this stage I am just taking one step at a time,” she said.

New name

Maimouna, formerly known as Edita, met Dubai-born Siddique in the mid-90s when he came to her home country Lithuania to study medicine. In January 2003, she embraced Islam and the same month she married Siddique who gave her a new name -- Maimouna.

Between 2004 and 2008, the couple had three children. Their marriage collapsed in 2011 when Siddique told Maimouna he was taking their daughters for a stroll in Safa Park but instead flew them to his homecountry Pakistan.

Maimouna was still reeling from the shock when she was couriered divorce papers from Pakistan and her in-laws asked her to vacate their Jumeirah villa.

Initially, Maimouna had approached the Lahore High Court. But when the court dismissed her petition seeking custody of her daughters, she appealed to the Supreme Court.